Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Bar Snack Brussels Sprouts

These are amazing! Slick with olive oil and fish sauce, Brussels sprouts become a salty, earthy mouthful of yum. Eat these alongside other nibbles with your pre-dinner drink.

I’ve reproduced the instructions from the New York Times. Don’t hold back on the olive oil and fish sauce as these are the key.

Brussels Sprouts Steeped in Olive Oil and Fish Sauce

Ingredients
Coarse salt
Brussels sprouts, trimmed at stalk end
Extra-virgin olive oil
Vietnamese fish sauce

Preparation
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and season with coarse salt until as salty as the sea. We encourage you to actually get a spoon and taste the hot water for salinity. It’s the only way to know what you’ve got in the pot.

Add the brussels sprouts, and cook for about 10 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Still firm but not al dente.

Drain sprouts, and quickly transfer to a heatproof shallow bowl, and while hot, douse them with good-quality olive oil and sprinkle fish sauce over them judiciously. Stir, and taste one. Add another splash of fish sauce, if needed, and let the sprouts cool completely, resting and steeping for an hour or so, before serving at room temperature.

As served at Prune in New York City.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pancakes for Supper

Crispy chickpea and carrot pancakes make a quick and tasty base for a variety of toppings. The chickpea flour creates a rich and moist interior that’s satisfying without being heavy. We ate these with spinach and avocado dressed with lemon and olive oil, and some grated goat cheese. You could also try roasted tomatoes topped with basil and a fried egg.
If you use two frying pans you can make two pancakes simultaneously, and the whole thing will take under 15 minutes.

Chickpea and Carrot Pancakes
Serves 2

Ingredients
125g chickpea flour (aka gram flour)
125g carrots, grated
175ml milk or oat milk
1 tsp roasted ground cumin, or coriander, or caraway, or fennel or mustard seed, as you prefer
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil, for frying

Preparation
Mix the pancake ingredients aside from the oil in a blender—I used a Nutribullet—and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Heat two frying pans over medium heat and add the oil. Swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of each pan and let the oil get hot. Once it’s hot (test by adding a drop of water and seeing if it sizzles), pour half the batter into each pan and cook for 2 minutes. As it sets the colour will darken a bit and some bubbles will begin to appear on the top. Adjust the heat if you think it’s starting to get too brown on the bottom. Using a fish slice turn each pancake over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side, until it looks firm.

Remove each pancake from the pan, and place on a plate. Top with your selected topping (see below) and enjoys.

Pancake Toppings

Spinach with avocado and goat cheese
Toss baby spinach with sliced avocado and dress with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette (50% olive oil, 50% lemon juice, salt and pepper). Arrange some dressed spinach on each pancake, and top with grated goat or sheep cheese. Garnish with additional slices of avocado and a grind of black pepper.

Tomato, basil and egg
Drizzle cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roast in a 200C oven for 30 minutes. Toss with shredded basil and lemon zest. Arrange on pancake and top with a crispy fried egg.

Brussels sprout slaw with avocado and cheese
Trim the bottoms off several handfuls of Brussels sprouts and shred them finely. Dress with a lemon vinaigrette and toss with chopped parsley or coriander. Arrange on top of each pancake. Garnish with sliced avocado, freshly ground black pepper and lots of grated cheese.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, Guardian 6 Oct. 2018.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Roasted Sprouts with Star Anise and Citrus

An Ottolenghi take on the Brussels sprout: the sprouts are roasted and then mixed with citrus and a sticky, anise-flavoured syrup. The result is totally unexpected and very delicious.

Pomelo is a large citrus fruit that looks like an outsized grapefruit. It sometimes comes shrink-wrapped into its own little mesh bag; you can usually get them at Richard Clarke’s greengrocer on Warwick Street, in Leamington, and at most supermarkets. If you can’t find one, though, you can use two grapefruits. Just reduce the lemon juice a little, as grapefruits are sourer than pomelos.

Yotam points out that you can add the leftover syrup to a fruit salad.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise

Serves 4.

Ingredients
100g caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pomelo
600g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
250g shallots, peeled
5 tablespoons olive oil
10g coriander leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
Place the sugar, cinnamon and star anise in a small saucepan with 100ml of water. Bring to a light simmer and cook for one minute, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add ONE TABLESPOON of lemon juice. Set aside to cool.

Peel the pomelo and divide it into segments. Release the flesh from the surrounding membrane around each segment and then break into bite-sized pieces. Make sure you remove all the bitter white pith. Place the pieces in a bowl and when the syrup has cooled a little, pour it over the pieces of pomelo. Let it marinate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the sprouts and shallots and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and run some cold water over them to stop them cooking any further. Pat them dry.
Cut each sprout in half, lengthwise, and halve or quarter the shallots so that they are the same size as the sprouts.

Place the sprouts and shallots on a baking tray with 3 TABLESPOONS of olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Toss them to mix, spread them out into a single layer and then roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the sprouts are golden brown but still retain some bite. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, pick the coriander leaves off their stems, but don’t chop them up.

Remove the star anise and cinnamon sticks from the syrup, and then strain out the pomelo. DON’T DISCARD THE SYRUP.

When you’re ready to serve, put the shallots, sprouts, pomelo and coriander leaves into a serving bowl. Mix in the remaining olive oil, the remaining lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the syrup. Mix and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add more syrup if you like. Then serve.

(Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More (2014).)

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Garlicky Brussels Sprouts

Here is a fine recipe from a classic US cookery book first published in 1931. As The Joy of Cooking explains, one of the authors ‘was always disappointed by Brussels sprouts—until he tried these’.

Brussels Sprouts Cockaigne
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
12 Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons butter, of a mixture of butter and olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation
Trim and rinse the sprouts, pat them dry and slice each one in half.

Warm the butter (or butter and oil) in a medium skillet that has a lid, over medium-low heat.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown a little. Remove the garlic and discard.

Place the sprouts cut side down in the garlic butter. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until tender, for about 15-20 minutes. Serve drizzled with any remaining butter and, if you like, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

(Recipe adapted from Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, The Joy of Cooking (1997).)

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